Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Press releases + Photos :)

Photo by Andy Morley Hall

5 September 2009


In the Page Blackie Gallery last night, Intersect - a national network of young leaders in sustainability - awarded 22 year old Amelia Hitchcock for her artwork “New Zealand Pure”. The artwork is a ‘dunger’ of a fridge - stacked with old fashioned baby bottles filled with water collected from lowland rivers around the artist’s home town , Wanganui.

“..In a nation that proclaims to the world to be ‘clean and green,’ 90% of our lowland rivers are so polluted, you cannot gather food or swim in them” says Amelia.

Her artwork ‘New Zealand Pure’ is reflective of the state of our freshwater systems, a visual representation of the legacy that we are creating for our next

The Waiora art competition received entries from all over the country. During the judging process, the judges named the originally untitled work ‘Nipple Fridge’ to distinguish it from other entries, an obvious cheeky reference to the visual impact of the work. Judges included Megan Tamati-Quenelle from Te Papa, Artists Wayne Youle & Sophie Jerram, James Blackie from Page Blackie Gallery and Hayden Montgomerie from UNESCO.

Megan Hosking from Intersect says she is delighted with the result. “We wanted to provoke people into thinking about the issue of our freshwater, and that’s exactly what has happened. As a result, a whole lot of young people across New Zealand have been thinking deeply about water and its significance to our nation. Young New Zealand artists are the right people to work with this issue.” The work is intended to tour public sites, not unlike a roving coffee cart, dispensing a message to its surrounding public which Hosking hopes will enable even more people to come into contact with the issue. Future display sites will include a hospital, a theatre, as well as a university alongside the coke machine.

The art competition was sponsored this year by the New Zealand Commission for UNESCO.

National Youth Art Award Opening

The opening night of the National Youth Art Award on Friday 18 September announced 4 winners out of the 42 finalists. The judges, Kate Darrow and Allison Ewing, were thrilled with the quality of the work and said the initiative for a youth award was important. They predicted that the National Youth Art Award would continue to grow.

The overall winner, Ben Pearce, from Napier, entered a beautifully made wooden sculpture called 'Great-grandfather Clock'. Though it looks fragile and unbalanced (deliberately), it is suprisingly sturdy and well made with beautifully carved detail in native New Zealand woods. It is a first rate contemporary sculpture which is eminently collectible. The first prize was $2000 sponsored by Tompkins Wake Lawyers.

Danielle Appleton, from Hamilton, won with a blown glass contemporary sculpture which lights up. Amelia Hitchcock, from Wanganui, won with a professional study of a carved apple undergoing decay. Both of those works sold on the night. Category prizes won $300 cash. Convex Plastics sponsored the 3D prize.

Finally, Mikaere Gardiner won the recycled (found materials) award with a dynamic painting on video cassettes of superheroes superimposed on the silhouette of a cave man. In addition to the cash prize, he received a beautiful plaque sponsored by the Peter Sauerbier Trust, care of Remains to Be Scene. Ludwina Saubier of Remains to be Scene is Peter Saubier's daughter.

The place was packed to the walls with people coming in all evening. The music by The Trons, the robot band, fascinated young and old alike. Younger artists came with parents, grandparents and friends; older ones came parents, grandchildren, spouses and children. More than 200 people came through in the evening.

Overall the standard was high and the best was very high indeed. The overall winner is a finalist in the Wallace Award this year, and at least two are international exhibitors, one with a con-current exhibition in Spain and the other opening next week in Israel. Several are finalists in the National Youth Photography Award also announced on Friday night. The finalists range from talented high school students developing both skills and concepts to professional artists becoming established.

We have had a small stream of visitors in to see the exhibition since. Many of the visitors are young artists who are greatly impressed with the venue with it very high roof and window walls front and back. Some of our visitors are art lovers who are pleased with the quality of the art and others are off the street people who normally do not go to galleries and were attracted to the mid CBD location on Victoria Street.

The success of the National Youth Art Award means that Waikato Society of Arts will definitely be organising this award again.

Ucol's Press release here.